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>> rose: welcome to the broadcast. tonight we continue our vacation schedule by looking at the people who came to this table in 2009 with something to say about their passion an their work and their life. our subject tonight, hot. those people in the media glare. they are joe scarborough. >> at our morning desk we get a lot of the top fakers in the country and the world. and it is --. >> rose: who wouldn't be thrilled to do that. >> rose: and is that a more important role for you than say being a -- well, what, like a senator from florida. >> there's no doubt. >> rose: evan williams, the founder of twitter. >> the desire to connect
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with other people socially is a big one. and i think that's why social networks in general are very powerful. that's what people care about billion almost more than anything else. >> rose: rahm emanuel, chief of staff at the white house. >> the white house was a place to make that most immediate change. and i cannot think of a better person to work for and help him see through his agenda than president obama. >> rose: in an hour we call hot, those people in the media glare, joe scarborough, evan williams the founder of twitter and chief of staff at the white house, rahm emanuel. when we continue. funding for charlie rose has been provided by the following:
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>> rose: additional funding for charlie rose was also provided by these funders a captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. joe scarborough is here. he is the host of morning joe, the msnbc program that is attracting a growing following. "newsweek" magazine compared the broadcast to something like a serious minded evening show still wearing his bathrobe and slippers. you like that. here is a look at morning joe. >> david gergen who has been around a few presidents, republican and democrat alike, has had positive things to say about president obama. but he faults him in the way he's run the administration thus far. >> yeah. >> in what ways. >> he said a really interesting thing. he said obama needs to appoint a really good manager for the stimulus
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package that that money hasn't gotten spent fast enough. >> isn't mr. biden doing i that. >> he said that under fdr, fdr had managers more in charge of the tim lus who didn't have other responsibilities and got pore done more quickly. >> do you realize there are conservatives, republicans that we, you are our magazine. >> we are very popular in the military. we get a lot of soldiers reading us and a lot of mail from them and hear back from a lot of them. >> okay. just saying once in a while, well actually you had pj o'rourke in the '80s. there was a conservative guy. had some great articles. >> i think conservatives like to read us to disagree with us. >> that's right. i, just like with "the new york times", i buy two copies, one to read and one to burn in my backyard after i finish reading it. >> rose: before he broke into television, joe scarborough was a republican congressman from florida from 1994 to 2001. he recently mapped out a comeback strategy not for himself but for the gop. the book is called the last best hope restoring conservatism and america's
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promise. i am pleased to have him back at this table. welcome. >> sorry you had to bring me. >> i enjoy hearing the stories about the ball girl last time here. (laughter) >> rose: how are you different today? >> you know, i think -- i think i know now in 2009 what i didn't know in 1995. >> rose: i hope so. >> and ironically, i'm counselling my liberal democratic friends, saying just relax. you know, i thought 1995 when we conservatives took over congress, we owned the world. that we could pass whatever we wanted to pass through the house. the senate would confirm it. it would go to the white house, be signed and it would be law. and what i found out was james madison was a pretty smart guy. we darted further right than america was ready to go. and you had moderate republicans and democrats in the senate. it sort of chiseled off the edges of that agenda. the same thing's happening
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now. and democrats have gone too far left. they spent too much money. they're moving faster than the middle of american political thought is ready to go. and they're learning the same lesson. >> rose: are they doing that because it is their ideaological place or are they doing that because they look at this economic crisis and they are pulling all the strings they know. >> listen, what barack obama is doing is what ronald reagan tried to do in 1981. what bill clinton tried to do in 1993. and the first year, they have looked at history. and you have a honeymoon period. you try to get as much done as quickly as you can get done because you know after the first year, it's a long, hard slog. so that is what he is trying to do. but the problem is what america wants him to do is focus on as mike barnacle says, three things. jobs, jobs and jobs. but also barack obama is limited by what happened over the past eight years. >> george w. bush and the
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republican congress ran the debt up to about $11 trillion. barack obama's first budget was very expensive, it doubled the debt. his projections, and americans just aren't ready to go that far. >> rose: the book "restoring conservatism in america's promise" basically is an indictment of the bush administration. >> well, yeah. i mean it's --. >> rose: from main street conserveism. >> it is an indictment of republicanism. it an indictment of people being more interested in keeping the republican party in power than doing what they said they were going to do when they get to washington. i mean we got elected in 1994 by saying we're going show restraint. we're going to show restraint in spending. we're going to try to balance the budget. >> rose: contract in america. >> we are going it to not engage in military adventureism, show restraint in entitle -- entitlements. and we did that. we passed well fare reform, we balanced the budget. we did try to restrain what
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military adventurism. you look at the bush administration, on all three of those counts they take $155 billion surplus, they turn it in to $1.5 trillion deficit. they take an entitlement system, medicare especially that is going bankrupt, they add a $7 trillion liability to it, the medicare drug benefit plan. and i think most damaging to this country at home and abroad, they take colin powell's republican view of how we're supposed to conduct ourselves on an international stays, you know, the powell doctrine, the winebarger doctrine, we talked about this before, we show restraint abroad. we don't go to battle unless it's the last possible option. but when we go can --. >> rose: but then go with full force with the public behind it. >> a as colin powell said when we go to war, we don't want a far fight. tony said he wrote a memo
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saying don't go into iraq unless you are going to have 350,000 troops. if you don't go in with full force, we're going to have a mess on our hands. he predicted it. >> rose: right. >> and a lot of the smart generals that have been in iraq before predicted it. for some reason donald rumsfeld didn't want to listen to the generals that won the first iraq war. and instead we decided we're going to win the war on the cheap. charlie, there's nothing conservative about that. there's nothing conservative about spining this country in debt. there is nothing conservative about putting us $7 million in debt in entitlement that not conservative. >> rose: is tony and colin powell the more republican you identify with than say newt gingrich? >> well -- (laughter) >> let me put it this way. let me put it this way. no, i'm going to put this way. newt gingrich can win statewide elections in georgia. colin powell can win
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statewide elections in connecticut. we don't have colin powells or tony zinnis in our party any more. well, we've got a few, olympia snowee. >> rose: she was very good this morning. >> so good on the show but for everyone that wants to kick colin powell out of the party, i say dow really think --. >> rose: that is rush limbaugh, isn't it. >> well, it is a lot of people. i went out on my book tour and i was trying to explain to people, if you want to be a national party again, you got to win a seat or two in new england. and let me tell you something, people who look like me and talk like me from the south, we're probably not going to do well in northeast harvard maine. colin powell with. olympia snowee will. tony snow will. >> i just threw that out there. i own northeast. i'm sure it would be just like the book tour. vote for him. >> okay, if you say so, okay i will vote for him. but they kicked colin powell out of the party is insane. i learned on the book tour t is fascinating speaking in new england. hi a lot of people come up
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to me, a lot of older gentleman, especially come up to me and say ised to vote for republicans when they were like you. i said i'm really conservative. >> yeah. >> rose: . >> i'm like a libertarian i'm so conservative. >> no, no, no, no. you're not a hater. and what i realized on this book tour, two things. one good, one bad. the good thing is that moderate its, even people left of centre will listen to you if you don't come to them and tell them barack obama say communist and sonia sotomayor is a racist. they will listen to you and you can have a debate on philosophy. >> rose: who said that sotomayor was a racist. >> i forget now. i played a lot of football, charlie. a lot of republicans said she was a racist. >> rose: some of your friends. >> sadly on the other side, you call them my friends. sadly, on the other side, like hard-core republicans. >> rose: right. >> let me just tell you. i will say it right here. are not as conservative as me. certainly not on spending.
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certainly not on military adventurism. a lot of these people wouldn't listen to me because iidn't call obama a communist. because i didn't call sotomayor a racist. i mean style has a lot to do. i mean there are some people -- on the hard right and hard left that expect to seeing aner and expect you to play hardball. and if you don't, you you're not a real conservative or progressive. >> rose: on the question that rolling stone was talking about, leadership. >> yeah. >> rose: barack obama, six months, how do you assess the leadership first. >> it is, you know, it's a split decision for me. foreign policy, i couldn't expect more. >> rose: same thing jimmy baker said. >> did he? on foreign policy he's the first realist we've had in the white house, at least judging by his aks over the first sick months since bush 41. he -- he takes all the
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information in. he doesn't dart wildly right or left. sure, his rhetoric is a bit more progressive. but that's his rhetoric. in reality he is, he is the first realist at least over the first six months. domestically i -- i don't think he's shown leadership at all. and i say that because i've been very disappointed. i have been disappointed --. >> rose: because he is giving too much power to congress. >> exactly. he turn thed the stimulus package over to nancy pell osoy. the biggest bill in the history of this country, the biggest spending bill, yet remember he set up david axelrod and larry summers. went up to the hill. they said this is our outline which was an outline that a lot of republicans said we could live with that. and congress told him no. nancy pelosi no, we're to the going to be bipartisan. we're in power now. and larry summers came out and said message received. they turned it over to nancy pelosi and --. >> rose: part of that also was a reaction, perhaps an
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overreaction to what clinton had done on health care. >> right. you got to be careful also speaking of jimmy carter and tip o'neill. one of the reasons why tip o'neill didn't like jimmy carter is because he didn't believe the new president, this fresh face from plains, georgia, was showing him proper respect. >> rose: so many presidents come to washington, especially if they have been governors, somehow they want to be perceived as an outsider. >> uh-huh. >> rose: and at some point someone helps them understand in order to get bills passed, in order to be an effective force, you have to have some relationship if not accommodation to the way washington works. >> exactly. dow have to. >> rose: you understand that. >> you do have to accommodate. the president has to deal with congress, no doubt about it. but you start with the stimulus package and i think another mistake cap and trade. nancy pelosi pulled barack obama into the cap and trade debate. a debate he shouldn't have been pulled in to if health care really was his number one agenda item. he got pulled into that mess. and there's been a lot of noise leading up to health
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care. so by the time he gets to health care, he's upside down on the deficit deficit. he's upside down on the size of federal government's growth. he's upside down on the poll numbers on a lot of issues that's making his job a lot more difficult right now. >> rose: you think public option is a bad idea in health-care reform? >> i think so, yeah. >> rose: you like the coop rative idea? >> well, sure, i do. the problem is, for the president --. >> rose: tell me, governor. >> well, no, i -- if you want to know the truth, there's nothing in the constitution, charlie --. >> rose: i do want the truth. >> i'm going to tell you the truth. you want the truth. you can't handle the truth. we don't have to --. >> rose: thank you, jack. >> we don't have to do everything in 2009. >> rose: you were a marine pilot. >> i'm a constitutional lawyer. i know the constitution forward and backyard and i can tell you as a guy without --. >> rose: florida. >> book to con law class, i know of what i speak. there is nothing in the constitution that says you have to get everything done in 2009. >> rose: there you go. >> he doesn't have -- to swallow --. >> rose: but you said
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political reality is you need to do as much as you can because you have less effectiveness afterwards so you have two competing ideas running head on at each other. >> the problem is this president has burned through a remarkable amount of political capital over the first six months. >> rose: has he really. >> yeah, he has brauses his popularity is still high and much popular than his position. >> yeah, i'm just talking about any big spending bill, he's going have some problems. i think really the best thing he can do right now, if i were advising him, and of course i'm not, i would say aggressively go after consumer protections. taking care of preexisting conditions. allowing kids to stay on insurance until they are 25 or 26. >> rose: and do something about foreclosures and all of that. >> all of that. focus on consumer protection. get as much as you can get now and when the economy turns around in 2011, then go back. >> rose: what's going on in red state america? >> there's anger out there right now. >> rose: about? >> the economic condition of the country and but is it more populist.
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>> you know, it is just a --. >> rose: a sense that are you going out those people on wall street and to the bailing out us. >> go back to '92 and '93. there's so much that reminded me of '92, '93. you know, bill clinton won in 1992 because, you know, we hit the reset butn on the economy. we went from an industrial age. we were transforming into an information age. take three or four years until we get there. and so bill clinton dealt with that anger. when he didn't respond the way people wanted him to respond in 1993 and he struck them as a traditional liberal, who rose, ross perot. and suddenly you had these, what was it, up with america, w or up with people, whatever perot's group was called. millions of people got involved in the political process in '94. the same thing has happened here. we've hit the reset button. we're not going to be an economy that is madly driven by consumerism. so people elect the agent of change, barack obama in 2080.
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what they've seen in 2009 has been a traditional, liberal, deck cratic approach. and so i think there's some anger out there. it's not, listen, it's not overwhelming yet. it's certainly not like it was with bill clinton in 1994. but certainly the warning signs are there for the obama administration. they need to respond well in the next six months. >> rose: how have you changed? i mean you explain to me how you think how you see theyo world. but you, has being in the center of this media thing, is it differentk than political attention? i mean is it less, is it more, is it more comfortable? >> it's a lot more fun not having to wake up at 5:00 every morning and saying what your local newspaper's writing about you. >> rose: or spending a lot of time on the phone raising money. >> that, oh, yeah, no, this is -- this is -- but you know what, though, charlie, my, the show, it's like, we talked about this before. >> rose: right. >> you and i, let's not tell our bosses, we're the luckiest guys in the world. >> rose: i know. wants because at this desk and at our morning desk we
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get a lot of the top -- in the country and the world. and it is -- who wouldn't be thrilled to do that. >> rose: and is that a more important role for you than saying about a -- well, like, like a senator from florida. >> there is no doubt. >> rose: a more important frorl you than being a senator of florida. so you say to the people of florida i can best serve you not by running for elected office but by running morning joe. >> thank god i don't have to say that to the people of for dachlt all i have to do is talk to my wife and see how she. >> rose: how does she vote on that. >> she wants me to stay out of politics. >> rose: that is the reason you left, was it, mostly. >> well, no, i had two boys that --. >> rose: that is what i mean, family. >> yeah, yeah, family. but you know. >> rose: now you have a larger family. >> they just keep growing. i got 47 kids now. but you know --. >> rose: starting with willie. >> yeah, exactly. he is our troubled child, starting at 5:30 every morning, you got to wake up and see if he is doing all right. but you know, i had some
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republicans approach me, asked me if i would be interested in running for senate this year. >> rose: sure. >> and i called a couple of political friends that i respect. and everybody had the same conclusion. you have a lot more influence, you have a lot more reach and you are having a lot more fun doing what you do every morning than you would being the 99th or 9100th senator in the minority in seniority. >> rose: evan williams here, the ceo and co-founder of twitter. it one of the fastestit growing sites on the internet. twitter combines social networking with a new trend called microbloging. users communicate using a maximum of 140 characters, though less than 3 years old, twitter las an estimated 6 million users. on-line communications is something williams knows a lot about. before twitter he founded, one of the most. lar bloging platforms.
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i am very pleased to have him on this visit to san francisco to join us at this table for the first time. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: great to have you here. >> pleasure to be here. >> rose: why do you think twitter has had this extraordinary sort of, not only growth, but popularity and visibility and talk. >> it's something to tell you the truth, that i can't fully explain. i mean i think the product's great. i think it's compelling. the level of attention has been a little surprising. >> rose: all of us want you on our show, all magazines want to write about you. all newspapers want to profile you. >> i think twitter combines a lot of -- it distills a lot of what makes the internet exciting into a very simple form. and it's about people connecting. and it really provides people with a new way to communicate that didn't exist. and as my co-founder likes
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to say, it gives us a way that we didn't know we needed. >> rose: exactly right. >> and it feels very natural. once you have it, it's like well this is a perfect complement to everything else. >> rose: explain how it works. >> it's very simple. although not obvious. what you do is you send an update or a tweet as they've come to be known. >> rose: first you have to join the site and first of all by joining the site, you have access to what? >> you have access to a few million people's tweets, whoever you want to tap into and keep up with. >> rose: yeah. >> and they're not even all people. they're companies. they're sports teams, they're media organizations. and friends and people you may just want to know about. >> rose: so if i want to send out tweets, if i'm joining, i'm a member and want to send out tweets i can choose. >> you choose. so it is different than -- it looks a lot like a social network but it's actually
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fundamentally different in how the relationship structures work. >> rose: explain. >> so a social network like facebook being the classic example is about finding -- encapsulating real world connections with where we know each other. we say we're friends on the soes social network and then we can communicate and it's two-way. twitter is anacin cron us relationship model. so i can be interest in you and you are sending updates. you don't know who the heck i am. or you just don't care about my updates. and you ignore me. >> rose: whereas if i was on social networking and you wanted to be my friend, i would have to confirm. >> yeah. >> rose: but here i don't know who is getting it. just the people without want it can get it. >> right. so it's much more open. and it creates a different kind of dynamic. so what you are doing is you are just kind of putting stuff out there and sort of like you would put stuff out on the web or on a blog. but it's much faster and
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more constrained than that. >> rose: constrained because it's only 140 characters. >> yeah, constrained because it is only 140 characters. and no pictures, nothing but pure text. >> rose: okay. but what happened at the time of the crash in the hudson of the flight. >> that's one of the other phenomenon of twitter is you can actually post pictures through third party. what you do is post a link to anything. so it can be a web site, a picture. there is a service called twit pic which is one of may be -- they're at least 2000 different programs that can send twitter updates. and they use -- they're third party developers who have completely on their own built software that plugs into twister. and they have done it for posting pictures, twittering from an iphone or black berry or from a windows or mac or lenux computer, almost anything you can
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imagine now has a twitter interface and all built by third party developers. so that is one of the phenomenons that twitter has tapped into, i think because again it's so simple, that people just build all kinds of things around it. >> rose: what i love about it is it's instant. i mean you had a senator tweeting while the president was addressing the congress. >> right snoo one of his closest friends. >> right. >> rose: claire mccaskill, the senator from missouri. sitting there -- and whoever wanted to get that, could get it. >> exactly. and that really shows the benefit. it's not about per friend -- her friends, it's her constituents or whoever is interested in what is going on right then. and twitter, the real-time aspect is really one of the main benefits. and that -- part of that is because the content is so short it with both be written and sent instantly. and we use sms and other
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technologies to really take advantage of that. and that's what makes it interesting. even in the mundane stuff when it's not the president, it's not a senator. but it's your brother who lives across the country, you know, saying their are painting the garage. it's not interesting to hear later that he painted the gar ac. but to hear in the moment that that's happening,. >> rose: the call of it. >> is what we are talking about in terms of social networking, in terms of twitter and tweeting, is it at t essence of where sort of the internet revolution s the idea of community. the idea that you can take this remarkable tool and use it to create a community that brings you friendship as well as information, as well as something else. >> i think it does all of that. >> rose: but how powerful of a force is it in terms of
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shaping the way the internet is used today. >> i think it's tremendously powerful. i think what the internet -- how the interheat has evolved over time is to more efficiently tap the most basic human desires. and they vary a lot but the desire to connect with other people socially is a big one. and i think that is why social networks in general are very po we -- powerful. that's what people care about almost more than anything else. >> rose: project this forward five years. how will it be different? all of it. >> well, it's hard to imagine how the technology is going to be vastly different. i'm sure it will. i think a lot of it that will be -- the ways it will be different is culturally. and so people will be used to this mode of -- i
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remember when bloging started, it seemed very strange to people, that just anyone could write something on the web. how dare they have the nerve to think that someone would want to read it. and now at least, i live in the san francisco bubble but it seems like people generally accept sure, that's a thing that normal people do. clearly, facebook an myspace are a thing that normal people do. but there is still sort of a, well, why would you put yourself out there like that. so i think people in general are learning that living a bit more publicly, a bit more transparently can have actually really powerful, positive effects. you -- you meet people, you are provided with new opportunities. you have just the ability to express yourself of what is
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going on. it can be narcissistic and it can be completely ego-driven. but it can also be just an authentic, open way to live your life. >> rose: is tweeting an international phenomenon? >> it is. are in the u.s. right now. >> rose: really? >> half. japan is really big for us. the japanese is the one language we've translated the site to. but it was actually, we translated because it got big in japan first it. the u.k. is actually exploded recently. u.k. is the second biggest. and i think canada and germany and brazil is creeping up. >> rose: some have suggested for a wile there, maybe still, you had a problem with crashing because there was so much usage. >> we did. we had a terrible first year and a half, actually where the site went down a lot and was slow a lot. and it took us a long time to get out of that. it almost killed us, i think.
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>> rose: let's talk about the company as a business. it is reported, i know i'm unlikely to get anywhere on this. if facebook wanted to buy you for anywhere between $300 and $500 million, a, was there an offer from facebook. >> we talked to facebook, yeah. >> rose: and is this valuation in the ballpark? >> i can't comment on the valuation. >> rose: why did you make the decision not to sell? >> well, we thought about it carefully. and i can't say, you know, offers are in various forms of seriousness and who know approximates if, you know, they would have done it. but our analysis was carefully considered. we're a foreprofit company. we have outside investors that have to look at these deals. but i never felt like it was the best thing for twitter. it really, it just seems way too early. we have a lot of momentum.
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there's -- there's tons of resic. we don't make money. lots of things could go wrong. but the potential is so great that to stop now even at a big win financially, would just feel like a loss. >> rose: monetizing is the question that everybody asks. how do you monetize this? >> we don't know for sure. but we have some ideas. it's going to, i think like the product itself, it's going to have to evolve over time. we're going to try thing its and see what works. but we're encouraged by a couple of things. one is that i would say three things. one is i don't think there is a question of can it make enough money to survive because i think there's a lot of -- people talk about how will twitter ever make money. sort of this mentality still that internet bubble 1 boy 0 where things disappeared because they got hyped too much and then didn't make
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money. now there isly an economy built into the web. that is much more real and there's a scale that makes it. so if something's popular it probably won't go -- it probably won't disappear because it can't make any money. that doesn't really happen any more. so the question is there a killer business mod thrill? or just a survivalable business model there. and what we're encouraged by is the fact that as mentioned, there is a lot of commercial usage already. so and we could charge users at some point or charge for extra features which a lot of companies do. we could obviously implement some sort of advertising which we do none of right now. if we do that intelligently, it could be a win for users and -- and make money for companies that pay for it just like google figured out how to do. >> rose: on the other hand google has also figured out, i think, and have suggested at least in some places that i have read that the social networking is not the advertising vehicle they thought it might be. >> right. >> rose: it's not a place.
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people who engaged -- who are using social network are not sort of likely to look at the ads. >> i think that is right. and you know, twitter may be more like that. but there's this informational component to twitter that makes it a little bit less like a pure social communication tool. i think social communications are really hard to monetize. information-seeking activities are much ezer -- easier to monetize. google being the ultimate example. twit certificate somewhere in between because of the fact that i get my dad's tweets but i also get -- i also will do searches and find out what people are saying about the latest iphone. >> rose: right. >> rose: i'm in washington with rahm emanuel just days after the november election. president-elect barack obama named him to be his chief of staff. it is one of the most powerful positions in the
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american government. he is no stranger to washington. he served as a senior advisor to president bill clinton before being elected to congress in 2002. he quickly rose in leadership and was credited for leading house democrats as they retook control of congress in 2006. despite a chance to eventually become perhaps speaker of the house, rahm emanuel resigned his seat at president-elect obama's request. the two men share a close relationship, forged together in chicago where they both began their political careers. when announcing the appointment, the president-elect said, quote, no one i know is better at getting things done than rahm emanuel. rahm emanuel also co-authored a book called "the plan, big ideas for america" you can now read it. it is out in paperback. i am pleased to have him back on this program, what has to be an extraordinarily busy time for him. thank you. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: great to see you. >> nice to see you. >> rose: tell me why the president-elect wanted you
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in this job. because he had to tell you in order to convince you to leave something that you loved. >> that is -- well, first of all t is something i loved. i loved congress. and it was a great job serving the constituents of the north side of the city of chicago. it was not so much what he said to me, although de make a persuasive case about working for him. but i think as we talked a little earlier before the show started, he did lay out and we talked many times through the campaign, periodically, that this is a moment of peril for america, and also a moment of possibility for america. and that we're -- where you could affect change the most. and when you weigh that, although clearly congress has its appeal to me personally, and you can make
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change from congress and you can just see it just this last week, that the type of things that we wanted to do, both of/9 us, but it's his presidency, is the place you can most impact people's lives, leave your thumb print, where they can improve their lives and have that most immediate impact is from the white house. and although i gave something up personally for my career and also personally, i think --. >> rose: in chicago. >> yes, that the white house was the place to make that most immediate change. and i cannot think of a better person to work for and help him see through his agenda than president obama. >> rose: you seem to be different. >> nass's because i'm fully medicated. (laughter) >> rose: on what? >> sleep, sleep deprivation. >> rose: sleep deprivation. he's cool. you seem to be hot. >> uh-huh. >> rose: he is from the
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left. you seem to be from the center. you're a different religions. you have different educational backgrounds. you have wanted different things in your life. >> well, first of all, let me go at the premise, a little. first of all, we do share a lot in common. >> rose: chicago, politics. >> chicago, the passion that politics is about place of possibility. but we're also both children of immigrants. and that the notion that this is a special country that has given us special opportunity. and although you've noted differences in style, i don't think in the core of why we chose a life of public service. again, this is his presidency, not mine, et cetera. but our friendship and our sense of, as former colleagues, i as a member of congress, him as a senator, but our friendship is in
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that same sense of what politics can do for people. and so yeah, we have different style. >> rose: how would you character eye the difference? >> well, but to the substance, i actually don't -- one thing that i would slightly disagree. you say i'm of the center, and he's of the left. i would say both of us are about the future. >> rose: and it has no label. >> not only doesn't it have any label but it doesn't matter which road you take to get there. as long as it's about building a future that is stronger and better for the people that you serve. you asked a question about --. >> rose: how would you define the differences in terms of personality and temperment. because his campaign had the famous slogan, no drama obama. >> uh-huh. >> rose: you are infamous in this town for drama. >> ll, let me say this. i think what we do share, stylisticically, is a sense of maybe i'm more expressive
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of it. a sense of impatience to get things done to help people. i am -- amy my wife always sqloks if we had a fourth child she would like to name it patience t would be a subtle, regular reminder and maybe it would seep in. but you know what, i give you an example, you know this, charlie. i care deeply about the children's health bill. helped negotiate it for president clinton. on the floor, 10 million children whose parents work full-time and don't have health care. i'm not sure when are you fighting against insurance companies patience is a virtue. i think for those kids whose parents work full-time, they deserve somebody without can get there and work, who is a little impatient to rock the system to get it done. and the truth is, president-elect obama knew what he was doing when he was hiring me. i mean he knew what he was getting. >> rose: he clearly knew that one of the things he said was i need somebody to cover my back and you're that. >> absolutely.
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this is about loyalty. we have done a lot together as colleagues. we've done a lot together as friends. and my job is to see through his agenda. and make sure not only it passes congress, that part of the agenda. that's one piece of pennsylvania, you know, the two sides of pennsylvania avenue. but it's also there is another road that leads into the oval office and that is fromhe oval office out, and that's to main street. and make sure the people on main street know they have a person who gets up every day, rolls up their sleeve and try to make sure tat their voices are heard in that office. so my job is to make sure that -- and there are parts of the job that are different. there not just one piece of it. you are an advisor, you are a counselor. you are a person who implements an agenda. you are a person who makes the staff worse to make sure the president's agenda gets through. and also that he has all the options available to make those choices. so there's different -- and sometimes you are an ambassador for him. so there are different parts of that. and it requires different skill sets, each of those
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things. and certain days you will be good at. certain days you won't be. the mission, to make sure what president-electbama sees for this country and wants to see for this country is executed both from his white house staff, through congress, and also the american people know what that vision is so they can follow through and see how he can help their, a, improve their lives and change america's standing in thworld wants was it important to him that you were a powerful figure in congress and that you knew the congress and he knew that what he was going to need, especially with democrats, is somebody who knew them and could speak their language in a way that they could understand? >> a little way through this interview i'm wondering whether you should have him answer these questions rather than me. look, we had talked -- i mean he knows what i had done in congress to help us win both the congress, as well as help us in the only win the congress but help us move an agenda through. he knows that what i had done working in the white house before. and he also knew that i had
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private sector experience. and that i saw through --. >> rose: in the banking business. >> in the financial sector, yes. you know, i'm reminded, let me just divert for one secretary. josh bollton, president bush's chief of staff, had in earlier december a breakfast for all the chiefs of staff to come together. i don't think they have done that. there were 13 people there, including former secretary of defense rumsfeld, vice president cheney was there, howard baker was there. ken duberstein, leon panetta, sam skinner. i'm leaving others off. i don't want to do that. andy card was there. secretary rumsfeld said, you know, your advantage is that none of us had were that you were here before. and that you had worked in congress i said yes, all those assets are also my liabilities. all the members of congress know you as a first-name
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basis. i can't be the head of the legislative affairs. i have to be chief of staff. they know me as colleague, i know their districts that is an advantage. having worked in the white house before n your mind's eye, your dna is wired for a guy you used to work for. i'm working for a new person. so you got to rework,ew rewire. >> rose: tell me about that. that's fascinating. >> why is that fascinating. >> rose: because you have to rewire. you worked for bill clinton. now you work for barack obama. so you have to rewire. the wol definition of rewiring means i got to change because this is a different guy. >> well, i think -- well, it's his presidency. and you know, making that change, but you have to -- you know, let me try to illustrate this with the clearest example. this is to the going to come off well. you could brief president clinton before a press conference. we have, you know, at his desk, doing cross ward puzzle, ncaa march madness is over here, you know, something else, the phone calls are coming in.
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mr. president, let's get this down to the one, two, three. and can have all that stimuli coming in and he, you know, and you would have to kind of knock on the door, rip it apart, get it done. at one point early on we were trying to prep before a press conference and i with president o a. let's get this down to a one, two, three. he says i got it. so you got to kind of -- i was kind, the old dna was coming through. and you realize he's got a very -- you know, president clinton would have a lot of stimuli going on all around, a tv here, crossword puzzle, you are trying to prep for a press conference. somebody is saying so-and-so is on the phone. he is, and he has a very cool sense about what it is he wants to communicate, how he wants to communicate it. and he knows where he is on that stuff. so you got to rebuyer to the person, their style, their substance and their vision. and i think, you know, we've worked very closely over the last six weeks, we're getting there. >> rose: what surprises him
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about you. >> let me say this about the last election which i thought was fascinating. and i don't ever remember it ever happening in american history, or at least recent american history, let's leave it that way. and i have said this i think to you charlie, before, is president clinton was a baby boomer, president bush was a baby boomer am our nominees before al gore and john kerry, both baby boomers. they -- this not an insul. i'm not -- with john mccain, they went back a generation. and with president-elect obama, our party went ahead a generation. no two parties a the that time, in a moment of time in an election went this way, split. but you could see he was part of the fute. the country was changing. it reflected the type of change that he was. >> rose: you know what it is as to me is that boy, this economic crisis is even worse than you imagined it was. and that you, every day you look at things that are alarming and you know it's got to be the, you know, the riveting focus of what you do. and that you have got to be
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prepared to take some dramatic steps that you never imagined you would have to do. but you have seen the danger. you have seen how deep unemployment could go. you have seen how difficult it is to get the credit market moving. >> charlie, one thing, my op rative theory is you never allow a serious cries toys go to waste. it is an opportunity to do big things but it an opportunity where you think you couldn't do something because people know this is a moment of peril. but also a moment of possibility. i think we are inheriting, we as a country, not just the administration and the congress, a country in the worst economic condition since the great depression. the greatest commitment of american troops overseas since '68 and the height of vietnam. that is the moment in time in american history now. i think that you will see that his vision is to begin
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to turn the economy around, working again for the middle class of this country because you can't have a strong economy if you don't have a strong middle class. and putting in place a policy that not only produces jobs today but competitiveness for the future and then as you had noted earlier, that not just deal with iraq and afghanistan, but most importantly, the hunger that is around the world for america's leadership to once again restore not just our position, they are hungering for us to lead by example. and i think that at this time the country, the world is watching and as much as america is hoping for president-elect obama's success, the world is hoping for it. because they crave america's leadership at this time. on so many fronts and have been waiting for it. >> rose: because they also think the problems are so large that they cannot solve them bo america's cooperation and help. and they want leadership. >> america is that indispensable nation for freedom. and we have a person at a unique time in history who represents so much going on in this country.
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and so much of the possibility of what we can do around the world. >> rose: what will he want to say in the inaugural address? what will be the tone. >> that everybody should watch charlie rose. >> rose: yes, hope so. >> i think your ratings are fine. a lot of it we talked about. i think, i mean --. >> rose: but what is important. you've got to have some opportunity. what we have to do is connect on this level. >> well, i think that first of all it to the different than what he talked about in the campaign in this sense. >> rose: or in other speeches. >> you know, look, so much of the business and financial leadership of this country let the country down. that anything, the culture of anything goes dominated washington, dominated the corporate sweets, and parents of the leadership of this country. and that if you are going to ask america to take responsibility for their country, the leaders have to lead by example. and they too have to be responsible.
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and that feeling of responsibility can't just be a lec fewer to the american people where they were on the economic or social strata. but it must also be lead by example by leaders of this country both in the public and private spheres, that they too have to now adopt a philosophy and a culture of responsibility. >> rose: participation, responsibility and sacrifice. >> and so when he talks about, you know, everybody is going to have to give something for the greater hole is once again kind of touching that nerve or that sense in america, not only responsibility that this is a greatest country, we're all lucky to be american citizens. but to have that greatness, you have to give something to your country. and that is what i think you'll see in this. >> rose: an he will also talk about, he has also said with george stephanopoulos that he understands, you know, that there may be time for a grand bargain. and the grand bargain has to do with tax cuts. it has to do with the stimulus program. it has to do with
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entitlements. it has to do with a range of things. >> well, i think the basic structure and conceptualization of that is that while we make these bold investments in our health care modernization, our school modernization, the reforms that we need, they have to be coupled with fundamental reforms of the way we do business. you can't afford any more $300 billions of cost overruns at the defense department on an annual basis. that just not acceptable when other people are being asked to tighten their belts. but you can't continue to afford a health-care system where we subsidize parts of corporate america above the price that you can get for a better price. for $200 billion. that just can't go on. and so while we ask and make these bold investments and take on the responsibility of not only creating thesein jobs but modernizing america's fundamental infrastructure, that we also got to change the way washington does its business. and you can't accept well, that's how it used to happen. it's just acceptable.
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and so there is fundamental reforms that have to happen in the delivery, being more effective of that. savings that have to be made. yes, we'll take on those entitlements but you can't come to the table with what you won't accept. with the opportunity of what do we have to do to make the change that it's necessary. >> rose: it is clear that when you look at all the range of issues, that he reechls out to hear people who are opposed to him. he wants to have dinner with george will and charles cladhammer and bill crystal and i'm not sure who was here. because he wanted what? to know what people who in print had been opposed to him, thought of what he was doing or to see what ideas they had about, or have their view of the world was different from his or -- >> you heard him in the press conference the other day. he said, i welcome ideas, there is not only one way to solve this problem. now what's not negotiable is 3.6 million jobs. you have a good idea? if it's -- that is exactly
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his words. who he sat down with as you said conservative columnist what are their ideas. we had a -- there was a dinner the other night other at the wilson center, organized by lee hamilton. >> rose: right. >> a group of foreign policy people outside of his national security apparatus. he wanted to engage i gave new example. we had this decision made on the financial legislation. i don't want to keep coming back to it but it was one other person's idea, the speaker, to get it out of the way, deal with it now, and it made him rethink. so he likes to be challenged splelly. he likes to get out and challenge the assumptions of conventional thinking. it is easy in the white house to get a group think going. he wants that, he wants the best of his advisors to give himnowing that it is not going to just be a mind melt. but he's willing to reach out and be challenged on a
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set of assumptions. he may decide to then say here's where we are, not me. but he is not intimidated by an intellectual challenge from those who have a different view. and i think that's welcomeed. >> rose: i also hear you saying and what happened in the senate an example of thatxh, that he wants to be bold not only because he thinks the time is demanded but because it's the nature of the person. >> there's no doubt. i think views -- this is a moment of peril but that peril is also is a nugget of possibility. and you can't get to that possibility without a boldness of action. and you have seen it to date. you've seen it in his willingness on the policy level, offer different ideas to get there. and welcome a slew of different ideas. i think one of, i'm projecting but i've had
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enough conversations, i think, with members of the other party, that i think they welcome the openness of their approach. knowing full well you may not always agree. but that at least we're going to listen and take sincerely a set of ideas. >> rose: and he is prepared to go over their heads if necessary as ronald reagan did because he knows he has a rhetorical gift that served him in the campaign, probably would not have been elected without it. either the primary nomination or -- democratic nomination or the general election. and therefore he has a tool. >> it's not like you do what i want -- it's not saying to the senate you do what i want or i will go over your head. >> he is saying to them and to america, you know, i'm going to use my connection with the american people and whatever underanding i have of technology and my own skills to build -- >> you're sitting, let me say 's dealing with the two sides of pennsylvania avenue. i think the president's
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basic approach say two-way street. that's number one. and i think people on the other side of pennsylvania appreciate that. a president has a different role than a member of congress or senate. not only are they responsible for keeping the flow of the two sides of pennsylvania avenue moving. they also have a job to speak to the country. and so that the loll between the oval office and main street is also an open two-way street. and so you are in a town of politicians. i'm sure they all have taken notes that he is doing quite well with the american people. and that they are hoping he succeeds. and so you know, you know, charlie, i love politics. i think it is a good thing. >> rose: so do i. >> okay, you are in a town of politicians. they have taken note of the where the american people are as it relates to president obama. >> the polls show it and his residents show it. >> that is a good thing. the challenge isn't we are going it go over your head. he has a job to communicate to the american people that is part of his job.
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they have a job to communicate to their constituents. he has a job to do it to all 50 states and let them know what his decision is. and he's very clear he wants to continue to do that. it would be essential to the job of the presidency in today's time. >> rose: you have been generous with your time. and i thank you very much. thank you. >> the watt certificate really good. >> rose: thank you. >> i thank you, i've enjoyed it rses this is an exciting time for everybody. whatever side they are on. and however they are uniteed by the sense of concern and care for the country. >> i do think having spent a lot of time in the hill in the last week, i will say this regardless of how anybody voted on a particular issue, there is a sense of common purpose by the legislative branch that this is a unique time. and i think people can walk away sensing that their elected officials know that this is an extraordinary time time that requires extraordinary answers.
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Charlie Rose
WHUT August 31, 2009 9:00am-10:00am EDT

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